About Those Beastly Blurbs…

More or Less?  Shorter?  Longer?  Different ‘experts’ will tell writers something different concerning the all-important ‘blurb’ for their book, adding to the confusion that writers experience (especially new or first-time authors who self-publishing).

I’m pretty slow on the uptake sometimes, but the other day I saw an ad for a book that caught my attention.  I clicked on the  tab and went to the Amazon page where the book was listed for sale.  I usually read the ‘blurb’ and if I like the ‘blurb’, I go on to read a few reviews, if there are any, before I purchase the book.

This particular book had an exceptionally long descriptive ‘blurb’, and I almost left the page just at the sight of so many words, because I don’t have much time to read OR shop for books.  In this case, however, I still wanted to check it out, so I began to read it.  About half-way through the ‘blurb’, I realized what was wrong with it.

The ‘blurb’ was not a ‘blurb’ at all, but a short synopsis.  The description gave the entire story in a few paragraphs, hitting all the high points along the way, and, finally, giving up the ending of the book before giving the genre and other tidbits of  information about the book and the author.

Once I had read the ‘blurb’, I knew the story, the characters and the outcome.  So, why, I thought, buy the book at all?  It would be like buying or renting a movie and having your Aunt Ruthie tell what is going to happen in every upcoming scene before it happens.  Extremely aggravating!  But at least, I didn’t buy the book and then, read the ‘blurb’.

The best advice for writing blurbs in my humble opinion is this:  Go to Amazon or your favorite bookstore and read a bunch of ‘blurbs’.  Make note of what you do and do not like about them.  After that, write your own book blurb based on your story line.  Try to throw in some interesting (arresting) tidbit of information that is going to make the prospective reader say “Whaaaaaaaaat?” or “No way!” or “Who-da-thunk-it?” or “That’s ridiculous!” or “That’s cute!” or “That’s funny!” or “That’s so sad!” or “Bad” or “Terrible!” or whatever you are trying to convey based on your genre.

Another piece of advice is, after you have written the ‘blurb’, show it to your friends, your family and/or your writing groups and ask them if it is catchy, or attractive, or if they might buy the book based on your ‘blurb’.

I certainly hope this has been of help to someone!  Happy Reading and/or Writing!  Merry Christmas!

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